I’m pretty much a regular at the Lucent Danstheater. After attending 3 more dance performances, I practically own the place. Ok, not really, but the people that serve drinks do recognize us. I may be going overboard with all these dance shows, but I really don’t know the next time I’ll be able to see so much great dance. I gatta take while its available. The great part about these shows is how unique they have all been. I couldn’t say say what I like best because they each have had something special.
Most recently Ria and I attended another NDT performance, the Programma IV, a night with Crystal Pite. (if we didn’t miss programma 3 we would have seen the whole NDT season). This was a performance of NDT unlike anything I’ve seen before. Previous shows have had choreography that highlighted the perfect bodies and technique of the company members. However the first piece was heavy on the theatrical elements and character rather than technique. The best dancing was during several pas de duex towards the end. The second piece was quite dark and less character driven than the first. There were more brilliant duets with one dancer wearing a full black suit so they were really only visible part of the time. The only group dance of the night was done at the end with the fully company dancing in complete synchronization while wearing loose black sweat suits. Unexpected, but brilliant.
While NDT is one long dancegasm, Rotterdam’s Scapino Ballet created a version of Romeo and Juliet that I actually enjoyed watching. The Shakespeare play can be a little too long, (or at least that was the case with my high school’s production) and ABT’s version was the only ballet I have ever walked out of. But Scapino kept me enthralled the entire time. I felt my muscles twitching in my seat, as I wanted to get up and dance myself. I’m not talking YMCA or “twist and shout” wedding dances. This show made me want to go take a modern technique class again, specifically a Jenny Backhaus modern class. While most R/J show’s have me celebrating the deaths and the end of the play, I was surprised that the ending came so soon. I was just getting into it. This show was able to take a classic story and make it entertaining, by showing that a story can be clearly told through dance without the pantomime that is far often found in classical ballet. Not only was I throughly entertained, but inspired to take a good modern class again.
Then there was Botantica by Momix. This show wasn’t so much about a single story, or showcasing technical perfection, it was the exploration of choreographer Moses Pendleton’s imagination. Think the dance version of Fantasia. There were small bits of this and that, ranging from a Dinosaur duet to a glow-in-the-dark shape forming piece. Many of the pieces were much too difficult to explain. In fact I was trying to figure out what was happening most of the time. I found myself asking “is that a foot or a hand? is that a person or set piece? How many people are there?” Botanica demonstrated the possibilities of dance and choreography.
I’m not done watching dance yet. There’s still a birthday show, as well as Swan Lake and hopefully a couple more shows before my time here is over.